Mobile Shoppers Still Heading to the Stores

by Net Future Institute on July 7, 2014

By Chuck Martin

All-the-time access to information has been helping reshape the shopping landscape, allowing mobile consumers to research before and even during their store visits.

Some of those in-store shoppers use the brick and mortar facility for the touch-and-feel product experience and then buy online, AKA showrooming.

However, some of the advance research also seems to boost in-store sales, based on a new survey.

Of consumers who shop both online and in stores, more regularly research products online before buying in a store than those who showroom, based on a nationwide survey by Interactions, a retail marketing company.

While about three quarters (76%) of shoppers say they regularly showroom, more (88%) say they regularly research products online before making an in-store purchase.

The survey was conducted in April with a representative sample of men and women 18-68 years old across all geographies and income levels in the U.S., according to Interactions.

For those who research online before heading to a store, price and information are the key drivers. Here are the top reasons shoppers check online before buying in a store:

75% — Find the lowest price
72% — Compare products
71% — Conduct product research

As you might guess, checking out products leads the showrooming activity, though price also is a factor for some. The top reasons for showrooming:

68% — To experience the product in person
48% — Find the lowest price
41% — To ask store associates questions

No matter the amount of research conducted on a mobile phone, the survey showed that the physical store is still the top location for making actual transactions, which is consistent with many other studies.

No matter the category, the in-store purchase is preferred. Here’s the breakdown by product category by number of shoppers who prefer in-store purchase:

89% — Groceries
84% — Home furnishings
77% — Health and beauty
75% — Appliances
70% — Apparel and accessories
59% — Mobile phones
53% — Electronics
51% — Computers

To a merchant facing the in-store shopper, it could appear nothing has changed from pre-mobile days. The reality is that mobile activity is turning the entire purchase decision process on its head. 


Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.


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